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  • Writer's pictureMrs Helen Hughes (May 1941)

1925: Settling in

For a time the Common Room was Chapel and Lecture Room as well and a miscellaneous collection of books was lent for it by Mr Reddaway, Censor of Fitzwilliam Hall. Through the kindness of Mr Lamplough and some friends, a piano was given to the Common Room and, later, a harmonium.

The Dining Hall, above the Common Room, has a well-planned kitchen behind it and below is the office of the Housekeeper, Miss Burgess, whose father had been a member of the staff of the Leys School, was the first lady to take charge of the domestic arrangements. Her staff consisted at first of a cook, a kitchen maid and two "bedders", all daily workers. Miss Burgess lived in her own flat in Cambridge away from the College. Her capable organisation of the kitchen and domestic work contributed very largely to the happy spirit of the early days in Wesley House.

When the site was first bought there stood in the north east corner a beautiful chestnut tree. This was a charming addition to the court but in summer several of the College windows were darkened by the foliage and it was feared that the building might sufer eventually. It was decided to cut it down and as the upper part of the trunk was found to be rotten, the authorities were justified.

The work in the Library went on and when completed was greatly admired by all who saw it/ The panelling in Austrian oak is an example of good craftmanship by Messrs Coulson and Son. Dr Ritson suggested the symbols from the Catacombs for the finials of the book cases at both ends of the Library.

By the wish of Mr Gutteridge this was named the Ada Gutteridge Library in memory of his wife and he brough a small portrait of Mrs Gutteridge to stand in one of the glass-fronted cases at the end.

Mr ES Lamplough gave the copy of the Williams Portrait of John Wesley which hangs there, the Posnett of Runcorn presented the Roubilliac bust and the copy of the Horsley Portrait of John Wesley which is in the Lecture Room. From the earliest days books were gradually assembled for a Library and to these were added some borrowed from Headingley College which had been closed owing to the Great War. When that College re-opened in 1930 they were returned and since then the present very fine collection has been built up.

The men who left in 1925 were SR Haymard, Hedley Hodkin and HS Darby. Mr Hayward became Assistant Tutor at Richmond, and Mr Hodkin took a similar post at Didsbury.


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